What Would You Do With $431,000? — That is How Much the Average Woman Loses Because of the Gender Wage

The White House site quotes President Barack Obama, “Women make up about half our workforce. But they make $0.77 for every $1 a man makes. That’s wrong.” But what does this blatant gender discrimination really mean for women over a lifetime?

Consider the following statistics, as reported by the White House:

  • A full-time working 25-year old woman earned $5,000 less than her male counterpart over the course of one year in 2011.
  • On average, the woman’s cumulative lost wages will reach $34,000 in 10 years.
  • If nothing is done to correct the gender discrimination, she stands to lose $431,000 by the time she retires at 65 years old.

The pay gap is clearly unjust. Although 23 cents may not sound like much at first, those pennies add up over a lifetime, meaning fewer returns on a woman’s work investment.

The White House also notes that the unfair treatment of women has a much broader impact. Today, women are often the sole breadwinners of their families, or they are part of two-income households. These families suffer because of women’s lost income.

Legislation that supports equal pay for equal work includes the following:

  • Equal Pay Act of 1963 — Prohibits employers from paying men more than women for performing substantially equal work
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — Forbids discrimination against women, including hiring, wages, promotions, assignments and other employment-related decisions that ultimately affect earnings
  • Paycheck Fairness Act — Closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act that traditionally allowed employers to justify lower pay for women
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 — Resets tolling of 180-day statute of limitations at the date each new discriminatory paycheck is received by the woman
  • Executive Order (EO) 11246 — Applies certain antidiscrimination regulations to women who work for federal contractors or subcontractors

If your employer is paying you less than your male colleagues, you may have a valid cause for legal action in New York. Discuss your options for obtaining fair and equal pay with a lawyer experienced in gender discrimination cases.

 

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